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I can't believe I'm actually a grandpa
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I'm a grandfather?

Can't be.

I graduated from high school - or so it seems - just a few years ago.

And it seems like only yesterday that the kids all came along in rapid-fire succession.

Still, calendars don't lie - 1979 was eons ago as were 1984, 1986, 1987 and 1988. Time flew by like an arrow. The four "kids" are now adults. Two are married.

So with our daughter Jennifer giving birth last week to a beautiful 6 pound, 15 ounce healthy baby boy named Connor, I've entered that phase of life known as grandparenthood. I don't feel possibly old enough to be a grandfather. They have grey hair - or bald heads - and sit in rocking chairs and wear cardigan sweaters and shuffle off to fetch their Dentu-creme as they complain about their backs hurting. Connor gets, I think, a pretty young acting and looking grandpa. I still have my hair - it's even mostly dark brown - and I ran my first half marathon five months ago.

Grandfather status means the dot on my time line has advanced. The next step would be great-grandfatherhood and, if I'm lucky, great-great-grandfatherhood and then (gasp) ... well, you get the picture.

After nine months of mentally preparing for the concept honestly I'm not sure what being a grandparent means, just yet. I know how my daughter's life and son-in-law's life just changed dramatically, but being "Pops" - that will be his name for me, not gramps - is uncharted territory for this 50-year-old vessel.

Other grandparents tells me that it's great business, saying, "It's great. You get to have fun with them and give them back to their parents. It's so much better than raising your own."

I'm not convinced.

For me, being a dad was an unparalleled experience. There's something very personal and special about being charged with doing your best to bond with, feed, care for and raise children from your own generic material into happy and healthy adults. I delighted in showing them the world. I have a freight train of sweet memories - the baths, wrestling on the floor, playing monster truck on the bed, watching the school performances and the games, the road trips, meals around the table, the stern talks and the stroking of the hair in quiet times - that are eternally precious.

I know some of those things won't happen with my grandchild. I am, after all, not the parent. I have to share this little guy with a lot more people than I did as a dad. For sure, though, I expect to be a part of the good and bad of his life. There will be camping trips, weekend outings, adventures, times to impart wisdom and truth.

So far so good, though, in this experience as "Pops."

I marveled as I watched the little guy in his first 30 minutes of arrival, his alert eyes searching these hovering adults through blurred vision. He departed a muffled world of water and softness and was introduced to this bizarre sphere of air and sharp sounds and light and all these funny talking strange humanoid types. It was if he was studying it all with a tiny developing mind. At one point he seemed to turn to our voices one by one as if to say, "Hey, I know you. Glad I'm here." I picked him up and welcomed him to the world and family with a kiss.

A birth has to be a spiritual experience for anyone privileged to be present, to watch the miracle of life occur as ordained by the Creator.

I found myself - ever the reporter in me - shooting iPhone video and photos and posting the news to Facebook. (We didn't have this marvelous tool when my kids were born.) I found myself walking back and forth from the recovery room to a window at Kaiser Hospital to get cell signal out so I could upload photos and details about the birth and the baby and Jennifer.

Later that day I helped participate in the changing of his first soiled diaper. I suddenly remembered how I loved the smell of baby lotion, and the peacefulness of kissing and holding a sleeping baby.

He won't be a baby for long. In just 18 years he will be off on his own. There is the business of preparing him for life, which can be expected right now to last 78.1 years, or until 2090, which sounds unbelievably futuristically impossible - well, for me, anyway.

In all indifference to my peers, I hope I get to do more than have fun and "hand him back" to his parents. I've been there, done that. I'm willing to take on my role as a cheerleader, a supporter, the one who loves him no matter what. And to to give his parents all the support I can to help them do a tough job.

How do you feel? Let Jeff know at